Tag Archives: Food

Cape Ann Diner is open in Brown’s Mall!

In Brown’s Mall, there is now a new cozy restaurant, the Cape Ann Diner (7 Pleasant Street)! They are currently open 7-2PM, Monday-Saturday (closed on Sunday).

There aren’t big signs outside yet, but they sometimes have a sandwich board outside. The closest entrance/exit is the door between The Hive and the Pleasant Street Tea Co.  I came in that way, and chanced upon some friends who were enjoying a delicious lunch at the diner.

I joined them for a cup of hot cocoa (with a mound of whipped cream) – perfect on a cold early winter day.

The prices are very affordable.  A bowl of the soup of the day – my favorite item on most menus – is just $2.95!  The most expensive item I could find on the lunch menu (all good traditional American fare) is the Burger Bomb – two fresh patties, American cheese, crispy bacon, grilled pepper and onions, bbq sauce and mayo on a grilled seeded bun with lettuce and tomato with choice of potato chips, home fries, or mashed potatoes. All of that for $8.95!  That sounds so good, I am almost drooling on my keyboard.  No, they didn’t bribe me to say that.

If you go in the front door of Brown’s Mall on Main Street, you get to enjoy the decked halls as you head up one flight of stairs towards the back left.

Up the stairs, into the hall, to the right!

- Fr. Matthew Green

Fred wasn’t kidding about the stuffed clams…

Fred wasn’t kidding when he said the stuffed clams at his gallery on Saturday were a hit. I was there early in the evening and had a couple of the clams (and ‘shrooms etc.) and I wish I could’ve made it back on Sunday for more! If I had known there would be leftovers, I would have eaten a few more on Saturday night…

The Artist with her Work

Kathie’s Klams (Kloseup)

They taste as good as they look. If you want to try some for yourself, here’s the full info:

There was a fairly steady flow of people through the gallery while I was there, increasing as the evening went on.

While the stuffed clams were a big part of the draw, it’s always great to hang out with Fred and friends and chat.  I always meet interesting people at Fred’s events! And, of course, let’s not forget that he sells beautiful art.  One of my favorite things is the pottery, which is spread throughout the gallery. This time, I bought a beautiful mug that was on sale, but I have bought a couple other pieces from him as well.

I could fill my cupboard with these things – I love the colors and textures, and the fact that they are made relatively nearby.  Besides mugs, there are bowls, small pitchers, etc.

Stop in at Bodin Historic Photo during the upcoming events:

•December 6th, 38th annual Ladies Night. Party starting at 6 pm until whenever. Love it, a crazy night!

• December 13th, 38th annual Men’s Night. Rockin’ at 6 pm until 10. Guys get it done at this event.

• December 14th, 2nd annual GOOD MORNING GLOUCESTER HOLIDAY PARTY, 6 pm until late. Last year, we had so much food that we ran out of table space, but somehow managed. Restaurant owner Mark McDonough brought a plank (not a mere platter) of sushi from Latitude 43. And Joey’s Sista Felicia stepped up with dishes from her Italian kitchen, as she always does (yum). And Joey himself bought 20 Scalifani’s pizzas. Beer was donated by Sam Adams and spirits from Ryan & Woods Distillery. Mayor Kirk was here, as was a significant portion of the City Council. Over the top! Not to be missed!

• December 20th, 1st annual Family and Friends Night. Bring your “home for the holidays” guests in for gallery offerings, free deserts or appetizers at many restaurants, and Carolers strolling Main Street. My theory is that last minute shoppers will get their buying done before panic time. Also a great time to bring the kids.

- Fr. Matthew Green

 

 

 

 

Festa Italiana at Holy Family Parish

An evening of festivity Italian style

Dinner & a show featuring the sounds of legendary artists
Barry Mooney and friends

Saturday, October 27 in the Parish Hall of St. Ann’s Church
(Holy Family Parish) – parking next to St. Ann School at the corner of Pleasant and Prospect streets

Menu:
Dipping oil with Virgilio’s bread
Eggplan Parmesan
Lasagna
Ziti & Meatballs
Mudiga Chicken (breaded chicken cutlets)
Salad, Rolls & Butter
Italian desserts – Coffee, Tea

Open to all – Tickets cost $20
Proceeds support Holy Family Parish

The Gloucester Farmer’s Market continues to be amazing

It’s been a few weeks since I went down to the Farmer’s Market, so I couldn’t resist going yesterday to pick up some treats.

Of course, I had to get some of Ma’s Brand Tomato Marmalade, which now comes in three varieties (soon to be four!) – Original, Organic, and “Jeesum Crow” hot (with Thai peppers).  The “fourth-coming” variety is going to be “hoity-toity”, with Gran Marnier! I can’t wait!

Plus, I got some Italian pecorino and parmigiano cheese from Luca Mignogna (of Wolf Meadow Farm).  Those cheeses should be interesting with the marmalade (and with just about anything else)!   They have the delightful combination of a solid consistency (but not too hard) with fairly salty, mellow, and slightly pungent flavors.

Finally, I also bought an apple tart from A.J. King Artisan Bakery, which was well worth the (already reasonable) price – a nice flaky crust, with well-cooked sweetened fresh apples and a crispy topping of brown sugar, cinnamon, etc…  I bought some granola from them the first day of the farmer’s market, and it was really good, so I didn’t hesitate to buy from them again.  Among the many treats they offer, are lavender butter cookies. I tried a sample, and I have to admit that I didn’t taste much lavender, but the cookie was  delicious!

There are lots of other good things available at the market, including fresh veggies, hand-blown glass, all-natural locally ground nut butters, local honey and beeswax products, real maple syrup cotton candy, and lots more – including hot food ready to eat.  Almost all the food sellers have free samples, so you can try before you buy.   If I didn’t have to worry about my weight or my wallet, I’d buy some of everything…

-Fr. Matthew Green

 

Dubliner Cheddar from The Cave

If you are a cheese lover, you really should stop by The Cave.  You can taste before you buy, so you can find just the right kind of cheese for whatever recipe or occasion you are planning.  They also offer wine and cheese tastings on Thursday nights, 5-7PM (they are announced on their Facebook page).

I stopped by several days ago, looking for something not too bland, but not too sharp; something with character, but not overwhelming.  I particularly enjoy cheese with soup – either on the side with crackers, or diced or grated into the soup itself.  (Some cheeses, especially aged cheeses, are a source of glutamate, which gives the “umami” flavor to things, which I like very much).  After trying a couple of options that Laura suggested, I settled on Dubliner cheddar.

As it turns out, I haven’t had soup since I bought this cheese, so last night I opted to try the it with some multi-grain Wheat Thins and Sauvignon Blanc.  It really worked!

I mean, wow! I could have polished off all the cheese in one sitting, but I held back, because I really want to try it with soup.

So, if you are looking for the perfect cheese for your palate, let Laura help you find it.  She also sells wine and various artisanal marmalades and spreads at The Cave, so she can undoubtedly help you find the perfect pairing.

- Fr. Matthew Green

 

After Hours at the Cape Ann Museum

If you were not at the Cape Ann Museum Summer “After Hours” event last Thursday, August 16, you really missed out!  This museum is one of the under-recognized jewels in Cape Ann’s cultural crown.

There was great music, great food from Alchemy,  live music/dance pieces featuring Sara Slifer, Kristen Miller, and 3rian King… and the personable staff and breathtaking art that you can always find at the Cape Ann Museum. Here are some photos.

Their next event is today at 3PM:

Elyssa East, author of Dogtown: Death and Enchantment in a New England Ghost Town, will discuss Hartley’s sixteen-year relationship with Cape Ann and how it changed his life and work. $10 Museum members; $15 nonmembers. Reservations are required; to make a reservation please call (978)283-0455 x16 or email info@capeannmuseum.orgDogtown Lecture series generously sponsored by Cape Ann Savings Bank.

- Fr. Matthew Green

Food Drive and Bake Sale – St. Vincent de Paul Society

Don’t forget this note from Helen Downey:

Come join us at Shaw’s Plaza, 127 Easter Ave., Gloucester, as the members of Holy Family Parish’s St. Vincent de Paul Society conduct a “Food Drive and Bake Sale” on Saturday, August 11 from 9am to 3pm.

The Society, through dedicated volunteer efforts, services the needs of many families here on Cape Ann.  We succeed in doing this only with  donations of monetary value or food donations for our emergency pantry.

Shaw’s is a great supporter of community projects and we have been chosen to be the recipient of any profits received through their participation in this event. So come on over and have lunch at the concession or perhaps a home-baked goodie from the many delicious items made by our members.  Hope to see you there on August 11th to support our fund raising event.

If you have any questions, contact helen at 978-283-7391. Thank you for your support!

- Fr. Matthew Green

FREE Acoustic Music Festival in Rockport on Sunday

David Cutler, Rockport’s acoustic music impresario (yes, I used that word), has been putting together this event for 33 years! While it’s usually held in Rockport’s beautiful Millbrook Meadow, this year the event is being held at the Rockport Legion Band’s bandstand on Back Beach. This is a great time to hang out in lovely Rockport and hear some good local music while enjoying food from Claire Franklin of New Year’s Rockport Eve. For more on that, read on. And click HERE to head over to the Rockport Acoustic Music Festival to discover the lineup and other information.

Here’s a letter from Claire, who is coming off of a really tough year and is looking for volunteers for the weekend. Claire puts on a huge event, Rockport New Year’s Eve, every single year (this weekend’s food tent sales serve as a fundraiser for the New Year’s Eve event). It is a major effort and everyone loves this event, so if you can help her out that would be great. We’re going to be in Maine this weekend and will miss all the action, but I wish I could be there alongside Claire. Everyone at the Acoustic Music Festival is in happy mood, listening to music while eating Claire’s hot dogs, hamburgers and more, so working in the food booth is a great way to be part of the event. You can contact Claire at her email address: claire.nyre@comcast.net to sign up for a volunteer slot or contribute in some other way.

From Claire:

Hello Everyone,

As most of you know, I lost my husband to lung cancer last January right after New Year’s Eve.  It has been a long road back to once again try to do the things I always have done in the past without him along side me.  Starting with this coming weekend’s Rockport’s 33rd Annual Rockport Acoustic Music Festival.  Each summer New Year’s Rockport Eve supplies the Food Tent for the festival.  We are again this year!

New Year’s Rockport Eve is looking for volunteers to help serve & cook on Sunday, August 12th from noon to 6pm.  Also, I would love a few helpers to set up from 10am – 12 noon and clean up from 6 – 7 pm.  This event has moved from Millbrook Meadow to the Legion at Back Beach this year.

Every fundraiser that I put on throughout the year requires that I beg people to help me.  I love putting on the New Year’s Eve program for the town of Rockport, but the begging for help is getting a bit harder.  Please come forward to volunteer to benefit such a wonderful event that I would love to continue year after year.  It takes about $34,000.00 to put on this event and button sales does not support this.  Fund raising is a must!  If you can just do one hour, I will take it or two or three.  Just answer this email and volunteer and please pass this on to everyone on your email list.

I am always looking for Baked goods to sell, also.  Brownies, cookies etc. that can be bagged and sold for 50 cents.

Thanks,

Claire

Food Drive and Bake Sale – St. Vincent de Paul Society

This just in from Helen Downey:

Come join us at Shaw’s Plaza, 127 Easter Ave., Gloucester, as the members of Holy Family Parish’s St. Vincent de Paul Society conduct a “Food Drive and Bake Sale” on Saturday, August 11 from 9am to 3pm.

The Society, through dedicated volunteer efforts, services the needs of many families here on Cape Ann.  We succeed in doing this only with  donations of monetary value or food donations for our emergency pantry.

Shaw’s is a great supporter of community projects and we have been chosen to be the recipient of any profits received through their participation in this event. So come on over and have lunch at the concession or perhaps a home-baked goodie from the many delicious items made by our members.  Hope to see you there on August 11th to support our fund raising event.

If you have any questions, contact helen at 978-283-7391. Thank you for your support!

- Fr. Matthew Green

More Farmer’s Market craze

Thursday, 3-6:30 at Stage Fort Park! Don’t miss it! It’s not just food (as if delicious local food were not a sufficient reason to go…); there are also people selling cookbooks, pottery, and art; plus there are art activities for the kids, run by teens from Art Haven.

One of the things I like most about the Farmer’s Market is that the people who are selling things there are usually closely involved in the production of what they sell.  That makes a world of difference; you can see that they are proud of what they are selling, they really know it inside and out, and they are convinced of its value. Their enthusiasm is contagious!  And they often offer free samples.  So, be forewarned: you are likely to spend more money than you planned to.  But that’s OK, it’s supporting the local economy!

Here are some photos from last week. Click on the block of thumbnails to see a slideshow, or scroll down to see some of the photos larger without leaving the post.

 

 

 

Edibles flowers, believe it or not:

Breakfast with Tomato Marmalade

A while back I mentioned Alexander Thompson’s delicious tomato marmalade (I mentioned it here and here).  It might sound unexpected (I had never heard of tomato marmalade before), but tomatos are fruit, and Alexander’s recipe really works.  They served it at the opening of The Cave with cheese and crackers, which was a great combination, but it’s also good on plain old toast for breakfast!

I put it on whole wheat toast with a glass of orange juice.  Just a part of this nutritious breakfast!

You can buy it on line or, today, at the Thursday Cape Ann Farmers’ Market at Stage Fort Park in Gloucester, 3-6PM under the blue tent.

He also makes the most addicting bread & butter pickles… also available on line and at the Farmer’s Market.

Supper at Café Bishco

Café Bischo is a little restaurant at 51 Main Street. Yesterday I had supper there with a friend, and it was great as always! We ate at a table outside on the sidewalk, enjoying the sunny summer evening.

I had their “Mediterranean Vegetable Soup”:

It was delicious, and was accompanied by heated, buttered, fresh bread, which was perfect for dipping in the tomato-based broth.

The sun shone bright through my glass of water:

To be honest, all I can vouch for from personal experience is their soup.  That’s the only thing I’ve ever eaten at this venue (and at several other restaurants), because I am a huge soup fan, and their soup is always good!  But the people with whom I have eaten there have also enjoyed their victuals, whether soup or otherwise.  Plus, I have seen a steady flow of people buying their ice cream or frozen yogurt, so that must be good too!

Actually, I can also vouch for their friendly customer service.  So, if while on or near Main Street, you get a hankering for a bite to eat, hot or cold, you should give Café Bishco a try!

The Cave, “Cheese Chocolate and Wine” – grand opening this week!

Remember The Cave,  “Purveyors of Cheese, Chocolate, and Wine”, soon to open at 44 Main Street in Gloucester, covered in this post last month?  They will be having their grand opening on the evening Thursday, June 21, from 5 to 7PM.

I met the proprietor, Laura Cramer at Bodin’s Historic Photo and Fine Art last week at the Dad’s Night Out event. I got a nice photo of Fred and Laura together – but I didn’t notice that I didn’t have a memory card in my camera…  So, you’ll just have to use your imagination.

She had brought along a platter of delicious cheese, crackers and olives:

Since people were a bit slow to come into the store, she took the platter outside to tempt passers-by:

(photo by Fred Bodin)

The cheese was really delicious, and Laura really knows her business; she explained the origin and characteristics of each cheese, which she had obviously chosen with care.  Check out the store’s grand opening this Thursday! And don’t miss those evening events at Bodin’s Historic Photo. You’re bound to find interesting people and good food, not to mention Fred’s fascinating photos, paintings by local artists, and more.

Bearskin Neck is heating up!

As the weather is starting to warm up, the shops, restaurants and galleries are opening up and getting down to business. I stopped by for lunch and a stroll the other day.

I had lunch with friends at Top Dog of Rockport.  If you like hot dogs, this is the place to go! They have an amazing variety of hot dog / topping combos, with creative names like “German Shepherd” (which comes with sauerkraut) and “Italian Greyhound” (with grilled peppers and onions). For those who, like me, don’t eat hot dogs, they have other offerings as well. I had a bowl of clam chowder, which was hot and delicious!

Kayaks were out and available for rent:

Corey Tevan (about whom I posted a while back) has added more paintings of trees and flowers to one corner of his gallery. I love his art – if I had the money (and the space to hang them) I’d buy at least half the paintings in his gallery:

Chris Coyne did some work on his gallery over the winter, and has filled it with more of his beautiful paintings of local landscapes and cityscapes. If I had a room for Corey Tevan’s work, I’d have another for paintings by Chris:

Eugene Quinn is also back after being away all winter. I didn’t get a photo this time, but you can check out his work on his web page.  I’d have to have another room in my dream house for his landscapes and still life works.  He also does portraits sometimes, but doesn’t have any on display right now.  He has a very sweet and affectionate dog named Layla who tried to “kiss” me on the lips. No thanks!

There are loads of other great galleries and shops to visit.  I hope to visit a few more of them soon and share more photos. It’s worth walking down Bearskin Neck just for the view at the end. Here’s a partial panorama (looking southeast):

Helmut’s Strudel

I am often in Rockport to preside at one the morning Masses on Sunday.  When I have the earlier (8:30AM) Mass, I like to go down afterwards to Bearskin Neck for a walk and for breakfast.  I’ve tried a couple of places, and one of my favorites is Helmut’s Strudel, down towards the end of Bearskin Neck, on the right.

Ham and cheese croissant – my breakfast last Sunday – delicious!

Service with a smile:

They have a selection of wonderful-looking pastries. My goal is to try one of each eventually…

They also have a patio with a nice view, where you can sip your coffee and munch on your strudel.

-Fr. Matthew Green

Lunch at La Trattoria

Isn’t that just one of the prettiest things you’ve ever seen?

A couple of weeks ago, I stopped to read the menu at La Trattoria as I walked down Main Street in Gloucester.  A customer who was on her way in, took the time to stop and tell me how good the food is!  So when a friend of mine came to visit the other day, I took him to La Trattoria for lunch to check it out.  We had bruschetta and shrimp scampi for our appetizers, and chicken soup for the main course.  We chased that down with tiramisu and gelato with limoncello.  My friend also had a cappuccino, pictured above.

To conclude: The food was delicious, the servings were generous but not overwhelming, and the service was friendly and attentive.  The restaurant’s design and ambience was classy and comfortable.  So, I am glad that that customer I met on the sidewalk sang this place’s praises!  She spoke truly.  If you like good Italian food, give La Trattoria a try!  It’s at 64 Main Street in Gloucester.  I am looking forward to trying their pizza…

Sunday Dinner At Sista Felicia’s

Barbeque Ribs, Mudiga Steaks, Italian Wedding Soup, Pumpkin Pizzelle. Greek Salad.  The Mrs also made a molten lava chocolate cake which ended up being the knock out punch and an exclamation mark to the final day before my diet starts in earnest.

The woman is a beast in the kitchen.

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